My message of hope reaches to the core of the California dream: a vibrant economy for cities and communities all across the state. Every city has been hurting under California’s budget crisis, and that is why I will provide relief for the financially-strapped homeowner, jobs for the unemployed skilled worker, and aid for public education.
My comprehensive economic plan provides answers that directly translates into a reasonably immediate budget surplus, aid for schools and community emergency services like firefighters and police, monies to fix crumbling infrastructure and transportation, careful planning to promote sensible economic development while conserving water needs, as well as reduction of pollution, the homeless, and gang related crime that is even pushing out into smaller communities. These measures will help to make the downward trend more shallow, to keep the economy from “crashing” (See Economics 101). So, I am ’Rushing’ to the aid of Californians with my plan for the Economy, Environment, and Education. I have affectionately called this plan the “Big-E.”
Seven months ago, California had four Democrats running for Governor. Now, we only have one – who has yet to formally declare. John Garamendi’s ego dropped out to run for Congress in the wrong district (which he won anyway), Antonio Villaraigosa stepped out to focus on his day job as Mayor of Los Angeles, and Gavin Newsom appears to have withdrawn from both the Governor’s race andhis day job. Unless someone jumps in (or back into) the race, June 2010 will be the coronation of Jerry Brown – a 72-year-old ex-Governor who quit the Democratic Party 11 years ago, and whose record after quietly re-joining has been a nightmare for progressives. Faced with only Republican opponents next year, Brown is moving further to the right – and will be pressured to do so down the road. Even though the Golden State, where the G.O.P. is in deep trouble, deserves a lot better than that.
As Beyond Chron has written on a numberofoccasions this year, California has led the progressive charge on the national level – but our state is in dire need of that kind of energy to fix Sacramento. And yet, progressives have failed to recruit a candidate of their own to be California’s next Barack Obama – leaving Jerry Brown as the only viable Democratic candidate to lead the largest state in the union.
Now, with no other Democratic alternative for Governor, progressives are left with two choices: (a) recruit a candidate to face nearly insurmountable odds to defeat Brown, or (b) organize on issues to the point that Jerry somehow feels compelled to respond. The former isn’t likely to happen, because the only Democrats with the stature to run a viable campaign are in Congress – and who would want to risk a safe seat when your party is in power in Washington? The latter is practically our only choice, and it remains to be seen how much Brown will bend in to public pressure. If 2010 is a wake-up call to California progressives that we need to focus more on state issues, it may be a good thing long-term.
One year before the 2010 election, Gavin Newsom’s abrupt withdrawal from the governor’s race leaves the campaign without a candidate conveying the message most aligned with California’s zeitgeist of the moment: a call for sweeping reform.
With Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown the lone (if still formally undeclared) Democratic candidate, and a Republican field of former EBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman, ex-Rep. Tom Campbell and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, the race now presents two fundamental, thematic choices:
Brown and Campbell argue, in slightly different ways, that fixing California is a matter of making government work better; Whitman and Poizner essentially contend that fixing California means getting government out of the way.
At a time when Californians have record-low regard for state government, none of the four has mounted a challenge to the status quo as strongly as did Newsom. A flawed messenger lacking focus and the discipline to raise the vast sums needed, he nonetheless came closest to seizing the mantle of change.
“We need competence to fix Sacramento. We would like a candidate with a background and experience that meets the moment. We need an inspiring voice, a compelling message that reengages the people with their state government. Our candidate will draw on the people to change California together.”
we are not limiting our search to the political class. There are business and community leaders in our party, like Tom Steyer, that CCWC is interested in hearing from, in addition to the professional politicians making the rounds.
Tom’s pragmatic point of view is substantive and resonates nationally regarding the banking crisis. His bona fides as a democratic fundraiser and supporter are unrivaled in California. His mastery of the crisis and finance are especially compelling given the current state of California’s economy.
As far as CCWC knows, Mr. Steyer has not indicated he is interested in changing his day job; should we consider a petition to persuade him to run for California’s highest office? To work together to change Sacramento once and for all?